AURORA, Ohio — It is estimated that only about 1.3% of the U.S. population are farmers, with only about 2 million farms in the United States. Farming has been on a steady decline since 1935, when there were approximately 7 million farms.

One family in northeast Ohio is doing what they can to boost the numbers, showing even a small farm can make a big impact.

What You Need To Know

  • There are approximately 2 million farms in the U.S., down from the 7 million in 1935

  • Hidden Pasture Farm is a family owned farm in northeast Ohio

  • The farm hosts birthday parties, educational events and more to show people farm life

“This is Lilly.” said Juliette Hockfelder, owner of Hidden Pasture Farm, as she showed off a beautiful kitten. “She's a barn cat in training.”

Hockfelder owns Hidden Pasture Farm with her husband, Ted, and it all started out of a love for animals.

“We have over 300 chickens, 2 alpacas, 3 goats, a turkey, 2 horses, baby chicks, chickens and 2 bison,” said Juliette Hockfelder.

Farming is relatively new to the family, but they've caught on quickly, and they aren't alone in loving farm life.

Members of their church help keep up the farm, their kids are really involved and they have friends who also take part in farm activities. 

“We love having kids around and educating them on farm life and taking care of animals,” said Yuliya Frid, a close family friend.

“We're still learning about them so we're kind of learning as we go too,” said Hockfelder.

The farm hosts birthday parties and other small events, but the family wanted to do more.

So, they came up with Party at the Barn. It's an event where kids can come learn more about the animals, feed them and even ride one of the horses. 

In addition to Party at the Barn, Hidden Pastures Farm hosts a Junior Farmer Program where kids learn the ins and outs of farming as well as other events like Painting on the Farm, Yoga and a lot more.

The money raised in these events directly go back to the animals. It pays for feed, housing and other needs.

The family is happy to open their doors to other families and glad kids can enjoy their time on the farm.